Behrin reached up and patted the shoulder of the frightened man and grinned wildly. A strange tingle of exhilaration burned through him. He stared at her with a lover's eye.
"Sit down Ulander before she runs you through." He said genially,his eyes taking her in. "You haven't changed much. Still the savage. Are you here for my auction?"
Alora's eyes narrowed as she sheathed her blade. She stared into his white eyes and realized she was quite possibly the only person more repulsed by his personality than by his physical characteristics.
"No. I'm here to rest my mount." She impatiently thrust her hair back with one hand and Behrin's smile widened as he recognised the nervous gesture.
"Aw. Pity. Not going to stop by then?" He gave her an exaggerated frown.
"Don't bet on it." She replied in a subdued voice and started to walk away.
He reached out and clutched her arm, unable to let the simple dismissal go. In his mind, what she knew about him was a secret they shared. A dark, malignant thing that bound them together. And...he loved her.
Not in a head over heels kind of way. Not even in the sense that his face turned crimson at the mention of her name. It was more along the lines of how a prisoner learns to love his cell. (make you think about who owns who)
"You don't get it do you?" He whispered in her ear. "Maybe you should take a step back and look around once in a while. You and I are like two peas in a pod."
He ran his fingers down her cheek as she glared at him in icy silence.
"You are as repulsed by the way I look and at what I do as the peasants are of yourself. People shun us until what we have is needed. And then they pay. You and I could be images in a mirror, we're so alike."
Alora stood quiet, her taut body stiff with anger. Hadn't she expected this all along? She'd vaguely hoped he'd let her go with a few choice words but, underneath, she'd known better.
There was something keying him up. Some dirty, dark secret that he'd decided involved her in some way. Now, he couldn't live another moment with this bugaboo unless she stayed with him. Or left him alone. Or played a part in whatever madness he'd come to and called a decision.
A tiny smile cracked her lips. "Probably some childhood thing," She thought. "Bet he's a chronic bedwetter."
(and way trots back to fucking way)
She slapped his hand away from her face. The sound was loud, insolent, in the quiet tavern. She should have let it go but what he had said dug in deep, stinging her as viciously as an angry wasp. Part of her anger stemmed from wondering if what he said was true. Things like that she filed away and pulled out on sleepless nights after the moon had set and before the sun had risen.
"You son of a bitch." She said with wonder.
She reached her hand out, as he'd done her, to caress his cheek. Behrin smiled and anticipated the feather-soft feel of her skin . Her eyes were smoke and he had just enough time to recognise the power in the simple act before her fingers touched. Lingered.
Through a supreme effort he managed to hang on to his smile. His lips trembled. The pain flared like an overzealous blade across his jawbone but he remained still, his smile intact.
"So alike, so alike you bitch, because I'd do the same to you if I could," His mind sang, tough and cynical.
(Yet...just a little scared, maybe close to tears,maybe the years had rolled back,slid like oil across water,making him twelve again, all over again)
Sweat burst from the pores of his skin yet he hung on grimly to his smile. Something inside him... moved. He crazily thought of the time a pregnant friend of his mother's had come by for a visit. She'd let him touch her stomach and he'd been horrified by the stealthy shift, so quick then gone.
"This is how it felt." He thought,dazed. His jaw throbbed in sync with his heart.
"I could take your soul right now. But it's worthless to me." Alora whispered.
Her voice was so soft he had to strain to hear it. She took her hand away and the pain didn't dull or drop to a tolerable level. It disappeared.
"Why? Why would you take my soul?" He asked, curious.
All his facilities weren't quite back up to par and he heard her words but the meaning was lost. For some reason, all he could think about was pregnant women.
"Because you're so special. Maybe you should think about who owns who." She quickly replied.
Alora had the impression she'd just laid down the winning hand but didn't understand who'd dealt the cards. The words had been right there on the tip of her tongue. She'd pulled them out of his mind as easily as a rabbit from a hat.
"Pregnant women? What was that all about? She thought, amazed by the crazy runaround of the thoughts that had emanated from his skin.
If she had to judge though from the dull flush of color in his face and the ugly twist of his mouth, she'd guess that what she'd said had hit home.
She grinned spitefully.
Her words made sense to him on a deeper, more primitive level and this was what colored his face like spilled wine but, on the surface, he could only gape. It would slowly come back to him. He remained silent as he watched her turn and walk out of the tavern. His face relaxed. His expression became thoughtful and dreamy as the noise in the tavern slowly resumed.